Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands far away;
for truth has stumbled in the public squares, and uprightness cannot enter. (Isaiah 59:14 – ESV)
As stated in our most recent writing: On November 3rd of this year, important national, state and local elections will likely chart the direction of our nation for years to come. Why? Simply because the respective platforms of the Democratic and Republican parties display stark contrasts.
In Part I we addressed this question: As a United States citizen, should I vote?
In Part II, let’s explore this question: Can I really find out the truth concerning the issues that our politicians are speaking about?
We live in age when change seems to be happening at the speed of light. Many of the advances are good. But we can’t lose sight of one truth: human nature hasn’t changed. Take one example: the enormous number of people living on welfare rather than working. Far too many people feel entitled, that somehow the world owes them a living while the people around them work for a living. Of course, I’m not referring to people who can’t work, but rather those who refuse to work.
At the heart of much of the present division in our nation is the lust for money, power, and control. This is true in many segments of our population but is especially notable among politicians. Unfortunately, nothing new. By no means does this describe every politician, but some seem to be driven more by base human nature rather than a genuine desire to serve others.
So how do we go about discerning truth about the statement politicians make?
For the past month We’ve been doing some extensive research as a means to separate fact from fiction, truth from lies. Bottom line upfront: it’s difficult, but certainly possible. Let me explain.
One method we tried has involved going to organizations that claim to be objective “fact-finders” regarding claims that politicians make. Not much success. “Fact-finders” frequently arrive at answers that come in direct conflict with the answers of other fact-finding organizations. From our standpoint,we simply do not trust this approach as a means of ascertaining the truth.
What we’ve found to be of far more value is the guidance provided in holy Scripture, specifically from a verse in the book of James.
But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you our faith by our works. (James 2:18 – ESV).
As it applies to the veracity and genuineness of statements politicians make, we believe it has this application: Don’t simply believe everything they say. Check to see if their past actions match their words. In other words, does their walk match their talk?
We wish we could tell you that there is a shortcut to this entire process—there is not. But you can streamline your efforts.
- Select the top five issues that you deem to be the most critical for these upcoming elections.
- Find out what each candidate says he/she believes. (Don’t depend on one source, i.e., CNN, FOX, etc.)
- Ascertain what each politician, if elected to office, claims he/she will actually do regarding each of the issues you have selected. Don’t settle for vague generalities. Ask how the candidate proposes to take action.
- If the candidate has held previous public office, find out how he/she has performed in the past in relation to these issues. One good approach is to check the individual’s voting records. That will tell you a lot.
- Another suggestion is to determine if the candidate has flip-flopped back-and-forth on a particular issue. In other words, has the individual simply said what he/she thought constituents wanted to hear at the time.
- Finally, we believe it is not only fair to evaluate each candidate’s character, but that it is essential to do so. Our politicians sit in positions of great power and authority. Their collective leadership will set the direction of this country for the next few years. Don’t we deserve, the American people, to have leaders of character?
It is important to remember that an individual’s deeply held values and beliefs impact both character and behavior. Each person has the right to choose what they believe and why they believe it. Critical to your efforts to ascertain the truth, look for consistency. If a candidate claims to be a person of deep faith in accordance within a particular religion, do his/her actions seem to match? If not, why not? If a candidate doesn’t ascribe to a religious code but rather a secular one, is he/she consistent in following what he/she claims to believe?
In closing, we are providing a list of some of the issues that seem to be most important to citizens across this nation. They are in no particular order— that has to be your decision.
- Defunding police
- The economy
- Concerns about the environment
- Gun control
- Selection of the next Supreme Court justice
- Open Borders/ immigration
- LGBTQ activism, especially regarding what children are taught in public schools
- Defense spending/building a stronger military
- Energy independence
Finally, we all need to remember our humanity. There are no “perfect candidates.” Nonetheless, on November 3 elections will take place and candidates will be chosen to fill important leadership positions. Doesn’t it make sense to select the very best leaders available?
Please register and vote!